Monday, March 15, 2010

St Denis -- Norte Dame Cathedral Paris

As I noted yesterday, the outside of Notre Dame Cathedral is very ornate as is proper for a Gothic building. Here is an example of the statues that can be found all around the outside of the building. This is how the faithful used to get their stories. I always wondered who was the Saint without his head depicted in this statue. It happens to be St. Denis who was sent to Paris to found the Catholic Church there in the 3rd century. He would become its first bishop. As I now know from Google, in the year 257, he was decapitated in Montmartre with his companions after they were discovered by a Roman governor. He then got up, walked six kilometres with his head in his hands, and gave his head to a Christian woman before collapsing on the ground. It is on this site that the Basilique de Saint-Denis was built in honour of the bishop. Wow! That is some story. Must have been something freaky to see.